Hip Hop Choreography

Hip hop dancers performing a routine


Choreography is the aspect of hip hop dance where moves, sequences and ideas are put together into a performance.

Choreography is usually done with a group of dancers but it can be done on your own, with one other person or a whole school of dancers!

If you watch routines and they get you inspired then hip hop choreography is the area you are interested in. Hip hop choreography takes skill because in addition to knowing how to do the moves you must remember the sequences they go in as a performance and not alter this. So a good head is essential.

What Hip Hop Choreography Is

Hip hop choreography on stage

A choreographer will put together routines and ideas together when creating a performance for a show or an audience.

The choreographer may also think about staging, transitions (how the dancers change positions on the stage), and formations (the shape the dancers make as a group).

All these asepcts together are the choreography, and the dancers learn and then perform the choreography.

Usually when learning choreography or routines in a dance class setting, there will only be routines to learn. The dance class is mainly for learning and practice.

Things such as transitions are part of stage performance and will only be used in class if the class is preparing for a performance, or if the choreographer wants to try out some new ideas.

Hip hop choreography is what you see when the dancers are dancing the same moves in unison. So when you see backing dancers, they will normally be dancing together in a choreographed performance.

Choreographed pieces can also have freestyle elements within it, where the dancers can showcase their skills and personality.

Choreography exists in all styles of dance. In hip hop choreography it will draw mostly from hip hop freestyle moves but can draw from other style such as African dance or robotics as well for example.

As hip hop choreography is primarily for the stage and the commercial world, the dance can be more technical than freestyle hip hop as they are often taught by trained professional dancers.

Hip hop choreography today is often called "new style hip hop" and is taught in many dance studios around the world. It is often done by dancers trained in other styles of dance also.

Some hip hop purists are not into this sub-culture as they feel it is so different from the streets where it started.

Others argue that they are still keeping in touch with the roots, but just bringing it into the current times and bringing new ideas into it.

To generalise hip hop freestyle is usually quite raw, whereas "new style" can be raw as well but is generally a lot slicker and smoother.

And note there are freestylers as well who are more "new style" than the rawer older style hip hop.

If you want to learn the style of hip hop you see on tv or want to dance in a crew someday, chances are you'll need to learn "new style hip hop" choreography.